It remains unclear whether the HLA haplotype of unrelated cord blood (UCB) should be matched to that of the patient in single UCB transplantation. Thus, using data from a Japanese registry, we analyzed the effect of haplotype matching on outcomes. Patients with hematologic diseases aged 16 years or older who had undergone their first transplant were included (N = 1347). The effects of haplotype matching and high-frequency HLA haplotype on outcomes were analyzed. Median patient age was 55 years. The cumulative incidences of neutrophil engraftment among groups with 0, 1, and 2 HLA haplotype matches were 79%, 82%, and 88%, respectively (P = .008). In a multivariate analysis, the group with 0 haplotype matches was marginally associated with worse neutrophil engraftment (P = .087) and significantly associated with platelet engraftment (P = .044) compared with the group with 1 haplotype match. Two-haplotype matches were associated with a higher risk of relapse. In the group with 1 haplotype match, the top 3 shared haplotypes were "A*24:02-B*52:01-C*12:02-DRB1*15:02" (HP-P1), "A*33:03-B*44:03-C*14:03-DRB1*13:02" (HP-P2), and "A*24:02-B*07:02-C*07:02-DRB1*01:01" (HP-P3). The presence of HP-P2 but not HP-P1 or HP-P3 was associated with a decreased risk of grades II to IV acute graft-versus-host disease (hazard ratio,. 56; P = .001) but an increased risk of relapse (hazard ratio, 1.35; P = .045). HLA haplotype matching might be considered to improve engraftment. Two-haplotype matches should be avoided if the relapse risk is high. The haplotype itself may have an effect on the risk of acute graft-versus-host disease and relapse.
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